Wednesday, April 23, 2014

ZOMG THE ZOO!!!!!!!!

It's been a busy week and it makes us feel old.  It's hard to get Nate out and about but Annie and I knew early on that we wanted to do as many normal things in the outside world as possible with Nate. With Nathaniel on Spring Break this week we decided to get some things done.  High on that list for Nate was the zoo. 

We were trying to decide which zoo to attend, San Francisco or Oakland.  We based the decision solely on the fact that Oakland had elephants.  We did not, however, take the zoo's topography into account.  That may have been a mistake.  The Oakland Zoo has hills.  Or maybe it's better to say that the Oakland Zoo is made up completely of hills.

Hills + heavy wheel chair + Nate + equipment that comes with Nate = and exhausting day.

Nate was largely unimpressed with the lone elephant, boring him to death by doing nothing but eat some hay nearly as far as possible from the fence. Regardless of which zoo we attended Nate loved it and now we are sore.  In our defense we had done some hiking with Nate in Huddart park the day before which already had us a bit worn down.

About 8 months ago Nate started getting more and more anxious about life.  Not having any control over situations, including control over your own body, makes everything more nerve racking.  Annie and I have worked very hard to try and break him from this and we've seen some success lately.

I couldn't believe Nathaniel was willing to pet a goat.  He loves animals.....but always at a distance.  Not only did he want to get close to the goat but he even petted it, and enjoyed.  He enjoyed it so much he wanted to pet all of the goats.

Towards the end we got to see the tortoises which was a huge delight to Nate.  It's always fun for us to see Nate do normal things in spite of his limitations.  For me, at least, I forget that he's just a normal 4 year-old in most ways and I remember when I see him pulling on the railing's of the paddock trying to get himself as close as possible to the animals.  I look around and see other kids doing the exact same thing and it makes me happy.
All in all it was great trip and Nate loved it.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Nathaniel's Birthday

For the longest time, at least starting in college, I didn't see much point in celebrating birthdays.  All it says is that, through very little effort of my own, I was able to not die for another year.  In fact one year I forgot altogether it was my birthday until my mom called me.
Well, for Nate each year means something.  We came so close to losing him on several occasions and each passing year is not only a celebration of Nate's continued existence on Earth but of our gratefulness for what he brings to us each day.
And Nate's birthday couldn't have come at a better time.  Annie and I have been completely ignoring him as we've tried to get everything moved into or new apartment so it was a good excuse to stop everything and spend the day with Nate.
This meant doing whatever Nate wanted and what he wanted was the Children's Discovery Museum.  Nate had a lot of fun and was able to participate in a lot of the activities. 
He did the bubble pull and was able to hoist the sheet of bubble out all by himself.  Of course by the time I thought to film it has was pretty well spent but I was pretty impressed with his ability to pull up the thing hand-over-hand.


And boy did Nate love Waterworld, and by that I DO mean the great Kevin Costner classic.  On a more related note, Nate loved the waterworld area of the CDM.  He got pretty good at throwing balls into the whirlpools.


 We ended the night with Transformer cupcakes and some presents.  Nate's ability to pull levers, throw balls and crank wheels were not the only feats of strength performed that day, he was even able to blow the fire on his candles.  He couldn't blow them out but he definitely made the flames move.

All said and done, it was a great success and probably his best birthday.  If you asked Nate what his favorite part was he would probably tell you the hollowed out Fire Truck at the museum....or the hollowed out ambulance.....or the bones of a Mammoth......or being sung to at Tiny was hard for him to choose and it changed moment to moment.
I'd say that's a good B-day.